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GEDs mark culmination of effort and a new beginning for grads

Chyrise Harris
Post Independent Staff
Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson
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When Joshua Granados made the decision to go back to school for his General Educational Development high-school equivalency degree, he kept it to himself.

It was only a few days before the scheduled GED graduation at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley Campus when Grenados called up his grandmother to let her in on his secret. He finally went back to school, and finished.

“I’ve always been so proud of him,” Granados’ grandmother Lottie Duarte said. “For him to take the effort to do this was very important to him, and I’m so proud, and his grandpa would have been really proud, too.”

“There’s a time for everything,” Granados’ sister Stephanie Medina said. “High school just wasn’t his time.”

For Granados, 42 GED graduates and seven adult high school diploma graduates, Thursday night’s CMC graduation finally gave them their time.

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“It’s really been a struggle for some of them,” teacher Sandra Ferrell-Smith said. “But we meet students wherever they are and help them get to the top,” she said.

Ferrell-Smith said life’s a game, and the teachers, faculty and staff at CMC are just the coaches of some dedicated players.

“We do what it takes, and they do what it takes,” she said. “But they are the real players.”

The decision to go back to school sent many of the graduates down a long and bumpy road, but no obstacle was too large to keep them from reaching their destination.

Obtaining a GED for Maria Hernandec meant juggling work and classes while keeping the two most important people in her life ” her kids ” happy.

“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Hernandec said. “I have two kids, so it took some time, but it wasn’t too hard.”

The should-haves, could-haves and would-haves no longer run through the minds of the graduates. Instead, earning a GED gives graduates a chance to look to the future, with desires, goals and dreams much more within reach.

“It’s often the first step for them,” Diane DeFord said. “They now realize it’s a gateway to a better life.”

With a GED, Granados can now think seriously about attending culinary school. Nursing school might be next on the list for Hernandec, and for Jason Taylor, who’s on his way to basic training in the army, a degree in criminal investigation could be in the future.

No matter where CMC students scatter throughout their professional careers, they can take comfort in knowing they can do anything they want.

“It’s all about perseverance and wanting to better yourself as an individual,” said Bill McGreevy, assistant dean for continuing education.


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